A Place Further Than The Universe Ep. 3: Making friends is super easy!

Our trio hasn’t quite locked up their tickets to Antarctica. Enter the child star who can make all their wishes come true. Wait, really? Yuzuki, the last girl to join the group is a celebrity? Man, of all the luck… Even better, she actually goes directly to Shirase! Wait… how did she get the girl’s info? In any case, Yuzuki has been picked to join the civilian expedition. Apparently, a high school girl is supposed to help educate people about the continent and stuff. That sounds odd to me, but whatever, that’s fiction for you.

In any case, Yuzuki doesn’t exactly want the girls to join her. Rather, she wants the girls to replace her. She claims she doesn’t want to go to Antarctica just because she’s sick of the cold. No one’s going to believe that. Girl, I wouldn’t pass up a trip of a lifetime just because it’s goddamn cold. Obviously, there’s a deeper issue at hand. It turns out that the girl doesn’t get to have friends, because she has such a busy schedule as a child star. You gotta really feel for these kids. Things will work out for Yuzuki, because this anime has a cheerful, uplifting tone. As a result, the girl’s about to make three friends for life by the end of this episode. It’s really that easy. But reality isn’t so kind to most child stars. And thanks to sites like Youtube, you don’t even need to become a national sensation for parents to exploit you. She has… what? 38,000 followers? Is that even worth mentioning?

And besides, just because Yuzuki is willing to give her role up to Shirase doesn’t mean the latter would be accepted as her replacement. Enter Yuzuki’s mom-slash-manager. Then again, would sending your daughter to Antarctica really raise her profile and propel her to stardom? I mean, from a business point of view, I guess I’m just skeptical. I don’t really care about celebs in general, but even if I did, I wouldn’t give a shit about one going to Antarctica. Now, if you’re talking Mars…

Afterwards, Yuzuki’s mom tries to promise her that things will get better: “When you reach your second year, you’ll get more real time off.” Had she been an actual mom, I wouldn’t have believed her for a second. The goalposts will always move the closer you get to them. But since she’s a wholesome anime mom, she actually returns to Shirase with an offer: convince her daughter to go on the expedition and the trio can tag along. Okay, I can give the kids a pass, because they’re kids. But Yuzuki’s mom should know better. Is she really going to make that offer without speaking to those three girls’ guardians?

The rest of the episode unfolds pretty much how you expect it to. Our trio meets up with Yuzuki and try to get to the bottom of the girl’s feelings. The child star confesses what we’ve already known: thanks to her burgeoning stardom, she never gets to have any friends. It’s a good idea to take stock of what each girl brings to the group. Shirase obviously has the passion. Hinata is probably the wisest and smartest of the group. So what does Mari provide? After hearing Yuzuki pour her heart out, Mari can’t help but suddenly embrace the lonely girl. She’s definitely not the brightest nor is she the most resourceful. But she’s easily the most empathetic of the bunch. She helped Shirase avoid a bunch of bullies back in the first episode, and she’s the first person to provide Yuzuki with the emotional support that the latter desperately needs.

So in the end, Yuzuki has a quick emotional reset and changes her mind. She will go to Antarctica as long as her three new friends can accompany her. As for their guardians… eh, I’m sure we can worry about that later. All’s well that ends well, right?

I still never quite found out how Yuzuki managed to locate Shirase at the start of the episode…

Misc. notes & observations:

— It’s only May and it’s that hot? But that reminds me: those girls better make it to Antarctica quick before global warming melts all the ice.

— Hmm, Shirase is good at barking out orders, but she doesn’t usually have the courage to follow through on her hare-brained schemes. I almost feel like characters that look like her tend to be meek and shy. Is that just my imagination or what? Someone with Mari’s haircut is almost always spunky, and someone with Shirase’s haircut is almost always delicate when push comes to shove.

— I want Hinata’s onigiri t-shirt.

— When Yuzuki offers to have Shirase take her place on the expedition, the latter suddenly tackles Mari and asks, “Where did you leak it? A message board? Twitter? Your timeline?” I wasn’t aware that this was supposed to be a secret. I thought everyone already knew about Shirase and her Antarctica obsession…

— Your best friends will always have your back even if you’re not that pretty.

— The mom quickly slams Hinata for her attractiveness. Dayum. Her voice is kinda grating, but I actually prefer her look most out of the four.

— I like how Hinata has to pretty much keep Shirase in check. Mari can’t do it. And she’s the only one who notices that Yuzuki has a deeper reason for backing out of the expedition. I guess she’s kind of the team’s voice of reason for now.

— I’m glad the story can slow down for a bit and allow its characters to self-reflect. The episode had been pretty humorous up until now, but everything was starting to feel like a joke or a potential joke.

— Just as I say that, Hinata cracks a joke.

— I don’t know whether to love or roll my eyes at the fact that Hinata likes to quote herself. Yeah, she’s easily my favorite character out of the four.

— Poor Megumi. She needs a friend, too.

— Yep, that’s a good argument. Keep it up, Mari.

— I feel like these two look too similar to each other.

— Yuzuki: “First impressions are important, aren’t they? I need to start working hard to form them right now. Proper relationships and groups… You’re basically establishing who you are.” Surprisingly poignant from a high schooler.

— Does Hinata own nothing but food-related t-shirts?

— Uh, isn’t there a more sensible way to do this? Couldn’t you have just knocked on her door?

— Oh thank god, it was just a dream.

— And because Yuzuki never has free time, the two friends she supposedly made eventually ditch her. I wouldn’t be too hard on these two girls, though. They’ve never really gotten the chance to talk to or hang out with Yuzuki. Sure, they don’t understand the girl’s feelings, but that’s what spending time together is supposed to solve. Plus, from their point-of-view, they might even feel as though Yuzuki has been blowing them off. It’s just an unfortunate set of circumstances.

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4 Replies to “A Place Further Than The Universe Ep. 3: Making friends is super easy!”

      1. Why? Other than ice and the ability to say, “I went to Antarctica”. I get some people are driven by a spirit of adventure and they would endure cold for that, a lot of people would just as happily pass.

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